Monday, January 28, 2013

Cinnamon Rolls

If you haven't noticed, from some of my previous posts, that I love to cook! I grew up learning how to cook mostly from my mom. I am so lucky to have learned from her how to cook because so many people I know don't even know how to make the simplest things and that just baffles me! I love going through cookbooks, magazines, recipe websites, and now Pinterest to find new and exciting recipes. So what I would like to start doing is to post a recipe every Monday to share with everyone. I will share some of my personal favorites for you to try and I hope you enjoy them!

The first recipe that I'm going to share with you is a cinnamon roll recipe that my mom has made for years that is truly amazing. A few weeks ago I decided one morning that I was going to try and make them. While I was making them I snapped a few pictures of the process along the way.

Cinnamon Rolls:


6 1/2 oz Milk 80-90 degrees (3/4 cups + 1 tbsp.)
1 Large Egg
3 cups Bread flour - Don't use any thing but bread flour!
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tspn. salt
4 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 tbsp. active dry yeast or 1 1/2 tspn. bread machine/fast rise yeast

1/3 cup butter or margarine softened
1/3 cup sugar (I used brown sugar and it turned out fine)
2 tspn cinnamon (or just sprinkle on however much you want or that covers surface)

1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons Milk
1/2 tspn vanilla
1/2 tspn almond extract

Directions- ***The dough recipe is for a bread machine***

1. Add warm milk and egg to pan.
2. Add bread flour, 3 tablespoons sugar and salt to pan. Tap pan to settle dry ingredients, then level ingredients pushing some of the mixture into corners. Place butter in to corners of pan.
3. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients; add yeast. Lock pan into bread machine.

4.Program your bread machine for "Dough". Start bread maker. When done, remove pan from machine. Place dough on floured surface. Knead dough about 1 minute, then let rest 15 minutes.

(Still in Pan)

5. Roll dough into a rectangle about 15x10 inches. Spread 1 1/3 cup softened butter over dough to within 1 inch of edges. Then sprinkle 1/3 cup sugar and the cinnamon evenly over dough.

6. Roll dough up into a 12 inch long, evenly shaped roll. With a knife cut roll into 1 inch pieces. The way I did it was cut it in half then each of the halves cut into half again and then cut each of the 4 pieces into 3 1 inch pieces.


7. Place rolls into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30-40 minutes.

8. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Please disregard the ugly one in the corner :)

9. Cool in pan for about 10-15 minutes
10. To make the icing; mix all of the icing ingredients together then drizzle over the cooled rolls.

11. Enjoy!

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Busy Week

Last Monday I officially started my second semester of college. It's exciting because with the classes I take this semester I will only have 1 more prerequisite class until I can officially start nursing school!!! The classes I'm taking this semester are Human Anatomy, Microbiology, General Sociology, and National Government. Last semester I had 2 in class and two online but this time around all four are online which has kind of made me a little nervous. But now that I'm a week into them I am a little more relaxed and will just take them as they come. I'm ready to get them over and start LPN school hopefully next fall then I can be a "real" nurse :)

A little update on the fitness thing. We went and weighed in last Tuesday for our Lean Mean 2013 challenge and I lost 4 pounds in 1 week!!! I was really happy with that. My other team members did just as well or better and we ended up 3rd place as a team in points. The weather last week was so beautiful that I walked outside again almost every day. One day I was walking just before dark and walked almost 3 miles. When I got into the house the coyotes started to howl and one sounded like it was literally in our backyard. Well a couple days later I went out during the day and my mom told me at least you won't run into any coyotes. WELL..... I got about a half a mile away and guess what goes running across the road. A mama coyote and 2 little pups! After I saw the pups I was too excited to get to see them that I put the fear of getting eaten away in the back of my mind. We go back tomorrow to weigh in and check our progress for this week.

On a totally different subject. Last night at work the charge nurse said that the evening shift girls were cleaning each others rings with toothpaste to make them shine. I was a little skeptical of this so I tried it out. All I did was take generic toothpaste we had at work and a tooth brush and scrubbed my Montana Silversmiths Buckle Ring and then rinsed it off with water. All I can say is WOW!!! It really worked. The little "diamonds" in my ring really sparkled and shined. They said that they got the idea from Pinterest. That site amazes me sometimes. You can find the most interesting and genius ideas there. If I'm ever bored on the computer I just go and scroll through Pinterest to pass the time.  You will see, if you go to my page, the 4000 plus amazing pins I've pinned. Yes I said 4000 pins. I really do love that site.

Nothing else real exciting happened this week but I will hopefully have some more good news after tomorrows weigh in!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lean Mean 2013

Last night my sister and I and 2 of our friends went and got weighed in for the Lean Mean 2013 challenge at our local community center. It's a program that they offer to give you positive encouragement to lose weight. With the program they give you weekly exercise challenges and offer special classes that focus on dieting and other ways to live healthier but most of it you do on your own. Then the team with the most weight loss wins different prizes. We all wanted to get healthier and lose some weight so we thought we would give it a shot. Right before we went and weighed in we kind of cheated a little. We went and had one last big meal at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. But then it turned out that some of the people we saw eating there also were weighing in too. So we weren't the only ones. I also ended up getting a pass for the track while my friend got a pass for the weights and track both.

So today we went and walked for the first time. We walked about an hour and it felt pretty good. Then we realized that the weather outside was extremely beautiful for a Missouri Winter and after we went home we both ended up walking some more outside. It was just to nice to pass up the opportunity. Sure it's nice to walk around the track but walking outside wins everyday. The nice thing is that both of us live in the country with gravel roads all around us so we can have the privacy and beautiful atmosphere that that offers. On my walk I didn't see a single car or person. It was just me, the birds, a few squirrels and our donkey Barney watching from the pasture.

Along with the walking I've done really well today with drinking lots of water (which is on my goals for 2013). I've always liked drinking just plain water but since I started working at the nursing home the other girls have really got me hooked on the Crystal Light. I have gotten so hooked on it that I have to at least drink 2 packets of it a day which means I'm drinking at least 40oz of water. The best part is that it really adds a lot of flavor to your water and there only about 10 calories per packet. The ones I drink are Cherry Pomegranate and they also rich in Antioxidants and Vitamins A,C, and E. Which I honestly think has helped keep me from getting sick for almost a year.  I haven't had so much as a cold since last March. (Knock on Wood) Weather that's the case or not I think it's helped.

I'm really hoping that I stay motivated the rest of the year to continue with being healthy. Its going to take some hard work but I think I can do it!!

 Along the way I stopped a couple of times to take pictures. It was really a beautiful day about 50 degrees. The only thing that would have made it better is if it were green!
The road I walked down

The view from the top of the tallest hill I walked up

Sunday, January 6, 2013

13 Goals For 2013

When I was a sophomore in high school for an Ag class we had the State Officer from our Area come and speak to us. The topic that he chose to talk to us about was on setting goals. Now he told us that we just couldn't think of goals and just keep them in our head. If we wanted to be successful and actually make sure we accomplish our goals than we need to write them down and put them in a place that we look at every single day multiple times a day to remind us of what we want to work towards. After that day I thought about it and I took the time to write down some goals that I wanted to accomplish by the time my FFA career was over. I took that list and hung it above my bed because that is somewhere I knew I would look at least twice a day. After I accomplished each goal I would check it off and mark the date I completed it. Some of the things included becoming the Chapter President, singing in the state FFA choir, earning my State Degree and a few others. So far I have accomplished all but one and that one is to earn my American Degree. I will be filling out my application this spring and will hopefully be making the trip to Louisville, Kentucky in the fall for the National FFA convention.

In the past years I had never really put much thought into "New Years Resolutions" but this year I decided I needed to some goals to really help better myself. I made my 101 in 1001 list and hope I accomplish several of them but I wanted to narrow it down and focus on what I need to work on for just this year. Along with seeing my goals on here I plan on writing them down and hanging them up somewhere where I'll see them so I keep them fresh in my mind. My goals this year are:

  1. Read more books
  2. Visit 3 new states
  3. Do more craft projects
  4. Spend less time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  5. Drink more water
  6. Save up enough money to buy myself a "good" camera
  7. Work on my relationship with the Lord
  8. Go out golfing more
  9. Continue on not drinking pop (already got 1 month under my belt!!)
  10. Do a better job of studying and try and get all A's in college
  11. Post regularly on my blog
  12. Spend more time outside
  13. Learn how to make special family recipes and learn and document my family history
I wish everyone else who has made goals the best and hope they are able to stick with them and accomplish them. Here the links to some posts from bloggers I follow who have also set goals.
Good Luck!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 in Review

I know this is a couple of days late but our Internet was out for a few days but I felt like 2012 for me was a pretty big year that brought many changes. My whole life I’ve waited very patiently for this particular year to come. The main reason why being, that this year I graduated from high school. Kind of a big deal! I have to say my senior year was ok not great all the time but I knew that I was almost done! I went to tech school half of the day for health Sciences and at the end of May I took the test to get my CNA certification and passed. The other half of the day I had "easy" classes mostly to pass time.
While I was in school I was involved with many different clubs and organizations, the most important one being FFA. In April I got to attend the State Convention in Columbia. While there I had the opportunity to sing with 200 other kids in the state FFA choir which was really fun. Also while I was there myself and 2 other students from my school received our State FFA Degree. The way you get that is by earning points which you get when you do contests, go on trips, and keep a record book. We got to walk across the stage with 700+ other Missouri FFA students which is a big deal because as long as I’ve been in FFA I’ve never got to walk across the stage. One of the harder things I had to do in FFA came at our end of year chapter banquet. For the 2011-2012 year I was our chapter President which meant that I had to give a retiring president address. I tried to hold back the tears but to be honest FFA and my advisor meant so much to me and had shaped the person I am that I was truly sad to have to give it up. It was kind of funny because I was sadder at that banquet than I was at my graduation.

Me on stage at the State Convention receiving our State FFA Degree.

After I graduated in May, in June I started working at the nursing home. I had had a part time job before that but this was my first “real” full time job. I’ve had many ups and downs but I have really enjoyed working there and getting to know the people.

My summer as a whole was pretty boring compared to last summer when I went to Girls State and Washington DC. I spent most of my time working at night and sleeping during the day. I did show a pig at a couple of county fairs. I didn’t do very well at them but he got me a nice check at our county fair premium auction and now he sure tastes good as bacon. J We did get to go to several smaller local rodeos and 2 bigger PRCA rodeos. My sister and I and a couple of our friends went up to the Sidney Championship Rodeo in Sidney, IA. It turned out to be really cool. Friend of mines brothers were competing the night we went and I ended up getting to meet the stock contractor who produced the rodeo. Later in September my dad and I went to Omaha, Nebraska to the Justin Boot Championship where they invite only the top 12 cowboys/cowgirls in the PRCA. After that rodeo I got to meet and get autographs from several of the cowboys which was awesome. Before we went to the rodeo we checked out the livestock show that was a part of AKSARBEN. We had 2 different friends showing so we went and checked out their animals.
Jack and Jim 
By the end of summer when August rolled around I started my first semester of college. I had 2 classes online, which was totally new, and 2 classes in a classroom setting. Right now I’m just taking prerequisite classes to get into nursing school. I’m going to hopefully start LPN school this upcoming fall and then eventually get my RN and bachelor’s degree. I would like someday to work with kids who have diabetes. Luckily December came quickly and right now I’m on winter break until the middle of January.

The holidays came and went in a flash and now we are beginning the New Year. 2012 will always be a year that will be important to me but I'm glad to see it go!! I'm ready to "grow up" and start making my dreams a reality. I have a feeling that 2013 will be a good year and I am excited to see what it will bring!